Lebanese PM Calls for Calm After Israel, Hizbullah Exchange Fire Along Border
Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab on Tuesday called for caution on his country’s southern border with Israel after what he described as a “dangerous military escalation” there on Monday. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Israeli forces on Monday thwarted a cross-border infiltration attempt in the Mount Dov/Shebaa Farms area by Hizbullah, the armed Shi’ite group that serves as a proxy for Iran. Hizbullah denied that its forces tried to cross the border into Israel and said that the incident was “one-sided.” The Mount Dov/Shebaa Farms area has been held since the 1967 Six-Day War by Israel, which says it is part of the Golan Heights, a territory that Israel annexed in 1981. But it is also claimed Lebanon. The UN regards it as occupied Syrian territory. “I call for caution in coming days because I fear the situation will deteriorate in light of heightened tensions on our border,” Diab said on the Twitter platform. Israel, he said, was trying to “change the rules of engagement.” After a Hizbullah member was killed in an alleged Israeli attack on the outskirts of Damascus, Syria last week, the Jewish state, bracing for an expected retaliation, raised its state of readiness along its northern border.